This post includes all the notes I took from keynote/panels/breakout sessions today for anyone that couldn’t make it. Today was an incredibly inspirational day! Pardon me for being quick and dirty but it’s late and I have a couple hours more of work before the VidCon wonder begins again tomorrow.
Saw panels and speakers Ryan Holiday from one of my favorite books, Confessions of a Media Manipulator, iJustine, Tim Ferriss of the Four-Hour Work Week (Most inspiring person I heard from today), various Execs from Fullscreen and Maker Studios, John Green of Vlog Brothers, Ze Frank EVP of Buzzfeed, the list goes on and on.
What I found crazy is how top 50 YouTubers were just milling about on the 2nd floor of the Anaheim Conference Center, many with just a few people waiting around awkwardly to talk with them. When they got down the escalator to the non-eclusive zone of course they were swarmed by fangirls and boys.
Today I met personally (considering chatting for at least a few minutes) a whole slew of Tubers like Jesse and Jeana of PVP/BFvsGF, Tae Zonday, Eddie King and Tyler Marshall of Teddie Films, Peter Hollens, Phil DeFranco, Rafi and Benny Fine of the Fine Bros, Max Weisz of Max No Sleeves, Mindy McKnight and her husband of CuteGirlsHairStyles, cult-movie star Will Keenan, Eppic, Kevin Khandjian founder of District Lines, Brett Roberts of kid history, Jack Conte founder of Patreon and Chris Crawford CEO of Loudr, a pledged-based music distribution platform which just launched and I think will be huge. Patreon will be huge as well.
So now that I’m done with the name dropping semi-creepiness, let’s get to what you really want, the notes from the conference. It’s choppy and dirty, but a great, quick overview of the whole Aug 1st, Thursday, Industry Day of VidCon 2013:
Vlog Brothers John Green
Believes that advertising is not what will sustain content creators but communities that know what they want and pledge what they can.
Nick Tran- Social Lead at Taco Bell
Everyone can remember their first kiss, where it happened, who it was, but no one can remember their first visit to Taco Bell. It was something new.
Work with YouTubers
Taco Bell fans love music, nothing goes better with music than late night and Taco Bell. Let’s feed bands on tour- started 7 years ago.
Tyler, YouTuber, started making videos in 2007, moved to LA in January. Got in touch with Taco Bell through Twitter. Taco Bell had contest for Twitter corresponder, Tyler won to live Tweet at the VMA’s. Taco Bell sent him to SXSW with no strings attached. Created an experience that he wanted to genuinely share. “Shipping” is pairing up people, encouraging them to have a relationship. #OTP- One true pair. Relationships with YouTubers should be a genuine relationship, a true friendship. Girl Tweeted about Taco Bell, they sent a guy in a chicken suit to deliver what she Tweeted about.
“We are that friend you found on your own, a friendship we discovered together.”
CEO of Fullscreen- George Strompolos (Founded YouTube Partner Program) @gstrompolos
PXL2000- Toy camcorder- recorded video to cassette tape
A new creative class
Spent 5.5 years at Google- Was really tough to leave, wanted to help nurture creative class. Founded Fullscreen in 2011. 180 employees. There are 30 MCN’s on YouTube today.
-Ad Sales sponsorships
-Cross-promo and collabs
-Technology tools and services
Half the world’s internet users use YouTube every month
Soon we’ll be measuring views on a global basis, global views is going to dramatically increase like PSY who transcended countries.
Academy Awards- 40MM views
MrEpicMann’s How Animals Eat their Food- 60MM views -60% of views are non-US, 30-day increase in views-12,000%, 30 day subscriber increase- 8,200%- 2.5MM new subscribers in 2 months
Producers say “That’s great and funny, but that’s not premium content.” I say, if I tasked you with creating a segment like this, one video that would get you a distribution base of 2.5MM people in two months, could you make it happen?
A lot of times people don’t understand what Fullscreen is- the shorthand way to explain it is that we are an MTV, we are a Viacom.
Adding $2MM to Creator Fund
First company to launch an app on Google Glass, video uploader
Tonight- Summer Upload Concert
Partnered with music studios to cover and appropriate revenue to artists
Panel- iJustine, TheFineBros, Transmedia, Collective- What is transmedia?
Megan Westerby- VP of Marketing, Collective Digital Studio
Panel: Justine Ezarik, iJustine; The Fine Brothers, Writers/Directors, MyMusic; Fred Seibert, CEO, Frederator Networks; Jay Bushman, Transmedia Producer/Writer & Co-Creator/Co-Showrunner, “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” & “Welcome to Sanditon”
Everyone defines the word differently.
“Telling stories over multiple platforms.”
“You’ve got to create Disney Land for your show, when you’re scripting you have to also write how you are going to interact with every single person interacting with the show.” -Benny Fine-
“The interns understand and can write better content than the older people because they have a sixth sense of it, growing up with it they know it so well.”
“When I shoot videos with AOL, seeing budgets, I’m like I could have made 50 videos in time it took you to set lighting –iJustine-
We seeded ways to interact out there unprovoked fans sent in fan art now we have a whole segment dedicated to it.
“Our lawyers always want to stop our fans from doing everything”
iJustine, Jay Bushman, The Fine Bros are sick on Facebook, angry about loss of reach, difficulty pulling video thumbnails, iJustine loves Instagram.
Fred Seibert- I think Howard Stern is one of the best examples of transmedia with traditional, like talk radio, building a whole media empire around his personality, fact mixed with fiction he creates
Rafi Fine- HomeStar runner incredible transmedia
Megan- Would you ever do something with a big budget without using YouTube?
The Fine Bros- No, you should find a way to include video iJustine- No, even if you don’t put it on YouTube someone is going to rip it and put it there anyway
Jay- Transmedia is bigger than just YouTube
Fine Bros have had to play between TheFineBros and just FineBros which has been tough but it’s worked ok
Branded Content Part 1: Big Brand Deals
Alison Walker, Marketing Programs Manager, YouTube
The advertising industry has changed, making branded content more important than ever. Join us as we discuss the state of the industry, including what advertisers are looking for in 2013, how benefits to creators have evolved, and the many types of programs that exist. We’ll also lift up the hood to take an in-depth look at one of our largest branded content programs during a Q&A with StyleHaul.
Branded content began in the 1930’s
“More marketers than ever realize that as the 30 second spot loses its power, content and experiences become more important communications tools.” Cannes Judge
64% of marketers think branded content is more valuable than traditional ads
3 types of branded content- sponsor – storyteller- story
CuteGirlsHairStyles- A channel sponsored by Subaru- “For Mom”
Brandon Yen- Fullscreen VP Brand Strategy
Tim Ferris- 4 hour workweek, 4 hour chef, 4 hour workout- blogs experience lifestyle design
Ryan Holiday- Director Marketing- American Apparel- Agency for controversial brands- Helps brands make themselves newsworthy
Brandon Yen- Started with Smosh- first video got 2.5MM views- 2nd most viral ad in 2011
Tim- Actually hates writing- turned down by 26 publishers, only 12k copies before his blog, found out that radio and blogs sell books
Ryan Holiday- Started working with Tucker Max- Blogger about his rough lifestyle- marketed his book on $7,500- interned at The Collective, accidentally signed Collective’s first YouTube talent
Tim Ferris- The best way to make it in tech is in-person meetings because it’s the least common communication. At SXSW he repeatedly asked questions hey who should I meet this is the kind of stuff I’m into, don’t collect business cards, no one will remember you that way. Would wait until they asked him who he was, all would say is I’m writing a book, then wait for them to ask for more. Then soft sale, could I send you a short little segment to see what you think? Making truly deep relationships with a few key people is much better than getting out 50 business cards and meeting a lot of people. Don’t get loved for something you’re not, thin the herd, “planet-earth style,” you do not have to fake, if you have a small and extremely loyal audience they can sustain you forever, you don’t need a big following, so it’s more about finding out who you are than finding more audience.
Ryan- Your real success is always doing something that you didn’t think anyone cared about but that you really loved. Those are the posts that do well, the ones you didn’t think would. Things that you think are going to be really big might not be because you’re thinking about it too objectively. The ideas you get and love in the shower are the ones you should pursue.
Tim Ferris- Passion is necessary but not sufficient- 22 immutable laws of marketing- synopsis on Wikipedia (old version) talks about light years and airlines, if you’re trying to emulate the top 50 videos you are competing with a ton of people that are also trying to emulate them, so draw from completely different sources. When he realized his book he was looking only for men in their 20’s in San Francisco and New York.
Ryan- The world is not an Ameritocracy there are tons of great things that go into obscurity every day.
Brandon- Identify target, identify the influencers, get them involved whatever it takes- Create the perception that it’s going to be a movement, if someone sees it on a few websites they read every day they’ll talk about it.
Ryan- Controversy is something that provokes a reaction Contagious (Jonah Bridger, studied 7k articles most emailed list) Length of stay time depends on how angry the reader is. Provocation is what gets people sharing something. Think about all the ads that you see that you don’t remember. It doesn’t matter, it’s all about getting a reaction so they’ll talk about. Target who will like it, also target who will hate it- sometimes your opponents can be your larger sharers ever. You get a young man to go watch something by having a young woman telling him not to watch it.
Tim- Sometimes it’s good that you do the complete opposite, in 2007 people thought blogs were dead so I did my whole launch on blogs, now on Best Seller for 7 years. It’s not just about views, that’s just a means to end. Blog content is evergreen, it lives on, unlike TV.
iJustine- SoSoHappy- 10% go to charity, had her fans design it, people that she doesn’t even know were wearing it
Brandon- In 2006 he emailed these kids, video got 2.5MM views, I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t stepped outside the box a bit.
Tim- 4 Hour Chef- Published through Amazon, first ever, got boycotted by Barnes and Noble, etc… So I worked with BitTorrent, captured all the moments like making late night deadlines. Want to make this the BitTorrent best seller. My click-through on BitTorrent for ‘support the author’ was 60%! Holy @#$* It’s a mental shift for people to grasp
How do you get in touch with hard to reach people?
Tim- Don’t reach out to people that are in the Limelight- Don’t reach out to Michael Phelps, reach out to someone that was Olympian 10 years ago. Don’t appeal to self-interest and mercy for famous people, you have to do something that will benefit them. Pay people for a Skype interview. Do Q&A for publications.
Ryan- Tucker- “I’ve paid so many girls to get abortions that they should name a planned parenthood clinic after me” He offered $250k, Planned Parenthood said no, that got them in the media everywhere, then PETA reached out for the money for a “fix your bitches” clinic. When you do something that pisses people off that’s what happens. You have to do something that is so crazy that it’s something that people can’t not talk about. You can’t make it something and hand it to a marketing person to push it out, marketing is a fluid action that has to take place from the very beginning of the thing. That’s not something you’re going to throw into a press release, pay someone $300 for and watch it
iJustine- Sometimes you’ll put a ton of effort into something no one will like, sometime you’ll put little effort into something someone likes
Tim- Look at principles, not technique, books like Hoopla, the principles of getting attention. You have to know what your target is. Define what success means. It’s a ranked list to get to top ten on NY Bestseller, so I’ll look for the slowest point, which day has the least traffic, how much do I need to get Sunday to Sunday, no one wants to talk about your book but people do want to talk about the stories, you as a person, SELL AROUND THE PRODUCT.
Do the opposite of everyone else whenever possible.
Google breakout notes (From iPhone)
Arcade Fire unstaged- American Express
Land Rover – Peter Regial – YouTube.com/landroverusa
Brand as story not for everyone
Commit to ongoing presence
Let creative lead
Content marketing industry- $40B
Stylehaul CEO Stephanie Gorbachev
Largest original content in fashion and beauty space
180% larger than AOL
Runaway is 6 months ahead- saw camo there now it’s here
Choosing the right projects- choosing the right channel, right thing to do.
EXTEND WATCH TIME
Create a lean back watch environment
Custom new channel design
Showcase content library
Regular viewer to top fan
Types of videos- contest winner, Q&A, hit like button,
New feature called top fans
Can find out their interests, other subscribes
Will work with Google+ circles
When is watch time considered terrible? Depends on video length
Ze Frank EVP Buzzfeed- Keynote
Only 10% of views come from subscribers so its all about sharing, activating super fans or designing with the share in mind
Why do people share facts so much?
YOUTUBE PRESENTATION- KEYNOTE
Freddie Wong raised $800k on kick starter
Google launching YouTube classroom
Pepsi, Procter and gamble, Phillips, GE are invited to YouTube university at headquarters lessening how to be creators just like youtubers.
YouTube increased subscriptions by 4X since last year
Changed from chronological feed to get more of the casual subscribers
Now remind people everywhere they go that they subscribed
New system for home page called ‘crank’- subscription raises channel ranking, reminds casual subscriber.
Top Fans- can engage with top fans that was previously not possible
YouTube.com/audience for those with 5,000 subscribers or more
Check out my Instagram for pictures and videos from VidCon 2013